AWC Announces 2016 Newsmakers Honorees

The Association for Women in Communications has announced its 2016 Newsmakers honorees: Jill Donovan, Leigh Goodson and Katie L. Plohocky. Each year, selects a group of outstanding Oklahoma women who have made positive headlines while advancing opportunities for women and improving their local communities and the state.

Becky Dixon is this year’s recipient of the Saidie Lifetime Achievement Award, presented in memory of Oklahoma television pioneer Saidie Adwon. The accolade celebrates an accomplished professional in the journalism and communications field.

members will recognize the women at a luncheon on May 4 at 11:30 a.m. at Hyatt Regency Tulsa, 100 E. 2nd St. Tickets are $55/members and $65/non-members. To purchase tickets, please visit For sponsorship information, contact Ivy Griffey at

Jill Donovan, motivational speaker and founder of Rustic Cuff
Jill Donovan, a former law professor at The University of Tulsa, used her obsession with cuff bracelets to teach herself leather-making and metal design in her guest bedroom late at night.

Within three years, Donovan went from being an adjunct law professor to a nationally known jewelry designer, turning her part-time hobby into a full-time business. Today, Rustic Cuff jewelry is sold in more than 175 stores across the country as well as select Dillard’s locations and The brand has been featured on many national TV shows including Good Morning America, The Today Show, E! News and The View.

In the past year, Donovan has opened her second Rustic Cuff retail store and launched another highly successful line, Kate Forty-eight, which features semi-precious and custom necklaces.

Leigh Goodson, president and of Tulsa Community College
As a top official at Tulsa Community College since July 2014, Goodson has facilitated the school’s participation in the national education initiative Pathways Project. The program focuses on raising college graduation rates by building better bridges for students from high school graduation to college completion.

Goodson has led the development of TCC’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, which was written and approved after a collaborative process involving faculty and staff. She also created new leadership positions through internal reallocation at to address critical, underdeveloped college functions, implement a baseline budgeting model and establish “Open Lines” campus forums.

Katie L. Plohocky, principal of StreetLife,
Katie Plohocky leads a Tulsa consultancy and real estate firm specializing in integrated urban strategies. She uses her 18 years of experience in commercial real estate leasing, appraisal, retail development, and project management to specialize in economic and community development.

Plohocky, a member of many community boards, serves as an executive member of several local health and food initiatives including the Tulsa Food Security Council, Food on the Move, Edible Tulsa magazine, Pathways to Health, Tulsa Community Wellness Partnership and the Oklahoma Food Policy Council. She is founder of the Healthy Community Store Initiative, which provides a mobile grocery store including healthy and inexpensive food options to residents living in Tulsa’s food deserts. She is cofounder and director of the Annual Taste of North Tulsa event, regional coordinator for National Food Day and board president of the Pearl Farmer’s Market.

Saidie Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Becky Dixon, new media entrepreneur, community leader and national pioneer in sports broadcasting, began her career as a news and sports anchor at Tulsa’s -TV before moving to the national stage – ABC’s Wide World of Sports – as the first woman to host a network sports show. Her sports acumen took her to the big events including the Super Bowl, the Winter Olympics and the Triple Crown of Horse Racing. She later transitioned from sports to statewide television. Her show, Oklahomans, featured profiles on notable state residents. Dixon also anchored Business Oklahoma, a statewide broadcast.

In 1994, Dixon joined forces with Ed Taylor to form Taylor Communications, a groundbreaking communications company specializing in Internet-based new media. As president, Dixon grew the company into one of the country’s leaders in webcast technology. She recently purchased Ayerplay Productions Inc., the parent company of Taylor Communications.

Dixon’s community involvement includes cochairing the 2012 Oklahoma Hall of Fame event and being a member of the Oklahoma Heritage Association Board of Directors, the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women, the Sutton Avian Research Center Board, and the Advisory Board of the Tulsa Sports Commission. She has served as president of the TU Alumni Association and was inducted into the TU Communication Hall of Fame. She was an inaugural honoree of the Tulsa Business Journal Women of Distinction Awards.

Updated 03-28-2016

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